In a bid to expand its business territorially, Rajkot-based Champion Agro Limited planning to invest about Rs 100 crore in next two years. As part of its expansion plans, the company is planning a North India foray and will look to tap states like Punjab, Delhi and Haryana.
The agri retail company already has 40 stores in Gujarat and is planning to open another 25 such stores in North India.
"As per our expansion plans we are now moving to North Indian states. On a pilot basis, we have started agri retail store in Solan district of Himachal Pradesh. Further, we are aiming to cover Punjab, Delhi and Haryana.
By end of 2012 we plan to open in all 25 stores in North India," said Dhirubhai Patel, chairman and managing director, Champion Agro Ltd.
For investment, the company is looking at options of internal accruals as well as banks.
"We have planned to invest gradually around Rs 100 crore in next two years to strengthen our foot print in North India. To manage the funds we will use our internal sources as well as go to the banks," Patel added.
For instance, the company has already tied up with SIDBI and Axis banks.
With agriculture items Champion Agro will also open fruits and vegetables retail outlets in North India.
"As Himachal Pradesh is fruits growing area, we are also focusing on our fruits and vegetable division there," Patel said further.
To actively spearhead its rapidly growing fruit and vegetable division, Champion Agro has recently recruited Dr Omveer Singh as the CEO of Champion Agro Fresh Pvt. Ltd. Singh was earlier heading the Agri-Business and CSR division of Field Fresh (A Bharti Group company).
Moreover, the company is also looking to hire around 200 more agro professionals for its North India operation.
Even in Gujarat, Champion Agro is looking to add more stores to its kitty.
"We will open 25-30 new outlets in Gujarat in current financial year for which the company will invest around Rs 15 crore on it," said Patel.
The company offers a wide range of seeds via its 100 per cent subsidiary, Champion Agro World.
Currently, the company deals in cotton, groundnut, cumin, sesame, wheat, bajra (pearl millet), maize and vegetables seeds. Moreover, Champion Agro World also manufactures and markets crop protection products including insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and plant growth regulators.
With the crop protection portfolio including popular brands like Bayer Crop Science, Monsanto India, Dow Agro Science, and UPL, Champion Agro pegged an annual turnover of Rs 425 crore last year.